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Circulation Journal
Vol. 73 (2009) No. 4 p. 686-690




Background: Because increased sympathetic nervous activity (SNA) in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) associated with sleep breathing disorder (SBD) is known to deteriorate the prognosis of cardiac failure, 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) myocardial scintigraphy was used as the investigative tool in the present study. Methods and Results: The study group comprised 53 patients (47 men, 6 women; mean age 56 ±3 years) with chronic stable DCM. Patients were divided into SBD(+) or SBD(-) group according to 24-h pulse oximetry results. SBD(+) was defined when the 3% oxygen desaturation index was more than 15/h during sleep. In total, 32 patients were SBD(-) and 21 were SBD(+). In both groups, pulse oximetry were performed during sleep and awakening pulse rate, and measurement of the blood levels of catecholamines and B-type natriuretic peptide was performed. MIBG myocardial scintigraphy and echocardiography were performed at the same time. No significant difference was found between the 2 groups in catecholamine levels or left ventricular ejection fraction. However, MIBG had a significantly increased washout rate and a significantly decreased delayed heart to mediastinum ratio in the SBD(+) group compared with the SBD(-) group. Conclusions: SNA is increased in DCM patients when associated with SBD. MIBG myocardial scintigraphy may be a sensitive method of detecting increased SNA. (Circ J 2009; 73: 686 - 690)


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